I find this article very interesting and quite important in this very difficult time in our national life, that a large number of our people may be really depressed without knowing it or making any effort to hide it. This article was originally written by Dr. John Grohol, an author, researcher, and online mental health expert who has been writing about mental health and psychology since 1992.
However, the following signs may indicate depression that these people have tried to hide.
- They have unusual sleeping, eating or drinking habits.
When a person seems to have significantly changed the way they sleep or eat, this is often a sign that something is wrong. When a person cannot sleep every day (or sleeps too long), this can be a sign of hidden depression. Others turn to food or alcohol to try to suppress their feelings.
Overeating can help someone who is depressed feel full, which in turn helps them feel less emotionally empty inside. Drinking can be used to help mask the feelings of sadness and loneliness that accompany depression. Sometimes a person will even go in the other direction, losing interest in eating or drinking.
- They wear a forced “happy face” and are always making excuses.
We’ve all seen someone who seems like they’re trying to force happiness. It’s a mask we all wear from time to time. But in most cases, a thin mask is worn when you spend more time with the person wearing it. Because of this, many people with latent depression try not to spend more time with others than necessary. They always seem to have an excuse for not being able to be quick and ready for dinner or to see you. It’s hard to see behind the mask of happiness that people with hidden depression wear. Sometimes you can see it in a moment of honesty, or when there is a lull in the conversation.
- They may talk more philosophically than normal.
When you finally catch up with a person with masked depression, the conversation may turn to philosophical topics that aren’t usually talked about much. These may include the meaning of life, or how good their life has been so far. They can open up enough to admit thoughts of wanting to hurt themselves or thoughts of death. They can talk about happiness or finding a better path in life’s journey. These types of issues can be a sign that a person is struggling internally with dark thoughts they dare not share.
- They can shout for help, to be taken back.
People with latent depression fight hard to keep it hidden. Sometimes they stop fighting to hide their true feelings and so they tell someone. They can even take the first step and make an appointment with a doctor or therapist, and a handful will even make it to the first session. But the next day they wake up and realize they’ve gone too far. Seeking help for depression would be admitting that they are actually depressed. This is a recognition that many people with latent depression struggle with and cannot make. He doesn’t let anyone else see his weakness.
- They feel things more intensely than normal.
A person with masked depression feels emotions more intensely than others. Someone who doesn’t normally cry when watching TV or a movie may suddenly burst into tears during a poignant scene. Or someone who doesn’t normally get angry about anything suddenly gets very angry at a driver who cuts them off in traffic. Or the one who doesn’t express the terms of endearment suddenly tells you that he loves you. It’s as if by keeping all their depressive feelings boxed up, other feelings spill over the edges more easily.
- You may be looking at things from a less optimistic perspective than usual.
This is depressive realism when these people appear to have a more realistic picture of the world around them. For example, while normal people are usually more optimistic about their life circumstances, people who try to hide their depression may say, “Well, I’m ready to get that promotion again, but I doubt I’ll get it.” In our environment, they may become more involved in overt problem-solving approaches prescribed by religion, to the detriment of their overall quality of life.
If anyone falls into any of these complaints, it is recommended to see a psychiatrist or any mental health professional for effective intervention to prevent suicide.